OVERVIEW After a remarkably quiet 2013 Maruti Suzuki has begun spreading its gigantic wings all over 2014. They begin the year with a brand new offering aimed squarely at the Indian market. The Celerio, if you aren’t aware of it by now, is a hatchback that will eventually replace the A-Star and the Estilo. Check On Road Price of Celerio
The Celerio is built on an all-new platform that has been in the making for close to three and a half years. A team of around 175 designers, engineers, product planners, visualisers, marketeers etc from both India and Japan have combined their efforts to this end. Except whoever came up with a name that sounds like a veggie in a salad mated to Mahindra’s favourite latter is anyone’s guess. According to Mayank Pareek, COO Maruti Suzuki, Celerio means a ‘celestial river’, but don’t ask me what’s the connect, I’m as clueless as you and many Maruti Suzuki employees are!
But get past the name and what you can clearly see its antecedents in the Alto, there are definitely faint hints of inspiration from Maruti’s largest selling car.
The Celerio is 3.6-metres long (2.4 metre wheelbase), 1.6-metres wide and 1.5-metres high, making it much larger than the A-Star. Its silhouette has all the elements of the small Suzuki hatchback language, but the fascia and the design is completely new. The front design is part of Suzuki’s new design language with a curved two stat grille connecting the headlamps. The headlamp console and the front bumper are angular giving it a modern feel. Get offers & discounts on Celerio
Both the shoulder-line and waist-line are bold, but they don’t add much value in this small car. The top-end variant gets a nice set of alloy-wheels. The rear is typical Maruti with the tail lamp cluster similar to that of the bigger siblings. There are multiple horizontal lines here that actually make the car look more compact from this angle
Maruti Celerio CNG interiors are same as the other versions. It looks quite contemporary and is good value for the money spent. The Celerio has a dual-tone dashboard with beige and black colours. The finish is also good which makes it look premium. The CNG comes only in VXi, so it doesn’t get a factory-fitted music system, no ABS or airbags. here would be an addition of ABS, once the new regulations set in, but as of now you get neither. The features on the Maruti Celerio CNG are all four power windows, power steering, AC and integrated dual fuel gauges.
The Maruti Celerio CNG gets dual tone seats, which also look stylish. The space offered in the front row is good enough for tall people and the seats have decent support too. The best part is that the rear also has great leg room and knee room. Even tall passengers would find it comfortable to sit in. It is certainly good and comfortable too, but the limited thigh support could have been optimised. The CNG tank takes up all the space, hence there is hardly any luggage space in the boot. So, the only option will be to use a carrier for luggage.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
Yes going by the facts, the Celerio diesel can be a bit of a dampener. Two cylinders, 793cc, 47.6PS of power at a fairly low 3,500rpm and 125Nm of torque at 2,000rpm. But don’t write it off yet. The Celerio is a light car, about 60kg lighter than its competition, and when it goes down to such small capacity engines, every kilo matters. The engine itself is an all-aluminium block with a turbo’s diameter the size of a few fingers. Performance isn’t anywhere close to brisk, but adequate to keep pace with traffic, and a downshift will help you in that overtake.
A weak bottom end is expected with just 125Nm of peak torque available at a fairly high 2,000 rpm but the way around it is keeping the engine in its midrange. The engine isn’t as vibey and noise inside the cabin is well-curtailed to give you a pleasant drive most of the time. Towards the top of the rev band though above 3,000rpm, as the tiny two-pot begins to shriek is when you will find the Celerio a bit unpleasant. The shift quality is good though, clean and quick slots with a clutch that’s a bit heavy but not jumpy.
All things said, the Celerio diesel is a car for the office commute for two. Any more passengers or luggage loaded and the engine will feel strained and out of breath to lug the extra weight
The suspension is soft enough to iron out road imperfections but the light car that it is, allows Maruti to keep the tune stiff enough for the Celerio to feel composed at high speeds. You don’t feel as nervous north of 100kmph in the Celerio as you would in an i10. The Celerio is a predictable handler too, fun to chuck around corners when you pick up the pace but the tyres could have offered more grip, especially in the diesel as there is more weight up front.
It is a given that a Maruti has to be an easy car to use in the city, and with the Celerio it’s no different. Light steering and good visibility out of the cabin coupled with nearly straight lined sides make for some precision driving when you are weaving through traffic. If there is one drawback in the diesel, it’s the lack of low end punch.
The Celerio CNG is one of the most affordable hatchback in its segment and is the perfect package. The Wagon R’s interiors have started to look aged and the Celerio is a better option to pick as you will look at keeping the car for a period of three to five years. At the price and the mileage, Celerio CNG is a great buy. Wish it was also available in the ZXi variant also